Air Raid Tourney Features 16 Teams
The four quarterbacks expected to see action for Pinecrest in Saturday’s sixth annual Air Raid Tourney have thrown a total of 11 passes in varsity competition.
That makes the 7-on-7 competition among 16 teams at the Morganton Road fields particularly important for Patriot head football coach Chris Metzger.
Eight games at a time will be going on starting at 9 a.m. on 40-yard fields. The air will continue to be filled with footballs until the conclusion of the championship game that is scheduled to get under way at 3:15 p.m.
“This weekend is just a great opportunity with a lot of positions up in the air — especially on offense,” Metzger said on Wednesday. “Aaron Reimer, Dwayne Simpson, Bradley Black and Michael Jacobs will be battling for the quarterback job. The only returning wide receiver is Justin Ray, so a lot of kids will be battling for that as well.”
Scotland High, now coached by longtime Jack Britt mentor Richard Bailey, is back to defend its 2011 Air Raid title. The Scots won the state 4-A championship last fall. Along with three Pinecrest teams, the others in the field include Cape Fear, Marlboro County, East Chapel Hill, Cardinal Gibbons, Carrboro, Ben L. Smith, Chatham Central, Middle Creek, East Montgomery, Panther Creek, Red Springs and Millbrook.
Each game lasts 30 minutes with a running clock. Teams get four downs to move the ball 20 yards for a first down or score a touchdown. The quarterback has four seconds to get a pass away, and there is no pass rush. Six points are awarded for a touchdown and two points for an interception.
The teams will each play five games leading up to the afternoon’s elimination rounds.
Reimer, a rising senior, saw limited action last season as backup for the durable Travis Scales, who will continue his football career at Lenoir-Rhyne. Simpson, another rising senior, was the Patriots’ second leading ball carrier a year ago. Black and Jacobs shared the signal-calling duties for the Patriot freshman team.
The Patriots have a seasoned group of returnees on defense, including returning starters in the defensive backfield like rising seniors Sam Brower and Nick Lacey.
“The defensive backs really get a chance to get better,” Metzger says. “What an opportunity for those kids.”
The Morganton Road fields provide an ideal setup for the teams and spectators. Concessions will be available.
“We think we have a great field coming,” Metzger says. “We really want to give thanks to Southern Pines Recreation and Parks and Mr. Robert Reeve (director) for painting the fields. It’s a great venue over on Morganton Road.”
The preliminary round opponents for the three Pinecrest teams are: Pinecrest A (Field A) — 9 a.m. Cape Fear; 9:40 — Millbrook; 10:20 — Millbrook; 11:00 — East Montgomery; 11:40 — Chatham Central; Pinecrest B (Field B) — 9 a.m. Marlboro; 9:40 — Cape Fear; 10:20 — Millbrook; 11:00 — Panther Creek; 11:40 — East Montgomery; Pinecrest C (Field C) — 9 a.m. East Chapel Hill; 9:40 — Marlboro; 10:20 — Cape Fear; 11:00 — Millbrook; 11:40 — Panther Creek.
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